Training for the Older Population

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Training for the Older Population Empty Training for the Older Population

Post  Drew on Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:38 am

Training for the Older Population
Donald Bolton
Published: August 2, 2010Posted in: Training ArticlesTags: Donald Bolton, elderly, training, weights
Training for the Older Population

Let me start off by saying that I’m not a “world class” anything. You need to read the logs and the Q&A section on to get information from actual world class athletes and trainers. I’m a 49-year-old man who is in better physical shape than 99 percent of the population, regardless of age.

It surprises me how many middle-aged people are unaware of how the aging process interacts with their training. Or maybe a better way to put it, they think they have to completely overhaul their training to accommodate their training goals. In reality, the aging process usually only necessitates minor tweaks in one’s training program. Of course, as you age, there will be some medical conditions and physical restrictions that will dictate the omission of some exercises or protocols.

Here are some things that work for me.

1. I have a great medical doctor, chiropractor and massage therapist. I don’t have any pill pushers or the “stop lifting heavy stuff and act your age” garbage. Just very good professionals who know my lifestyle and understand my goals. I get a full physical every year. My doctor is very “on board” with my goals, and I keep him informed. He is very good at interpreting my lab results and giving me advice on how to stay healthy. My chiropractor and massage therapist are also very knowledgeable and have saved me from severe, permanent injuries. I’m a firm believer in early detection, and it’s important to know what is going on internally.
2. I know and listen to my body. I take a deload week whenever I need to. I have gone as long as eight weeks without a break and have taken time off every ten days or so. Sometimes I will take a partial deload. For example, if my wheels feel great but my shoulders need a break, I will omit pressing movements for a week. This allows me to progress on areas that are feeling great while letting my banged up areas heal. On my full deload weeks (maybe four times a year), I do light, very high intensity, circuit type training and turn up my conditioning (I hate the word cardio) a notch.
3. Education, education, education! I never stop learning or educating myself. Over the years, I’ve learned how to weed out the crap and integrate the good stuff into my program. Everyone is different and some people respond well to “carved in stone” programs and diets. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn just by reading logs and articles on I also like DeFranco’s stuff and most of the articles in Testosterone Muscle. I’m not a world class athlete and some of the information on these sites doesn’t even come close to pertaining to me, but I still find all of it very interesting and I can always use more tools in my toolbox.
4. I keep my program simple and tailored to me personally. I have learned my limitations and what works and what hurts. I keep a log and work in waves. I rotate the main movements (exercises) and the assistance and supplemental exercises pretty regularly. As I get older, I find I get bored very quickly. I usually do 10–14 day waves. The longer duration of my rotation lets me heal and has served me well as far as keeping injuries to a minimum.
5. My diet isn’t complicated either. I eat as I please using common sense. I don’t pay any attention to the corporate propaganda such as, “Don’t eat red meat and eggs.” I know what fuels my body and what I can and can’t live with. As I stated earlier, my doctor is very good. If there is something a little off in my blood work, I will discuss it with him. Most of the time, I can answer my own questions and make the appropriate adjustments to stay healthy.

These are just a few general things I’ve jotted down. I’m currently working on a more detailed account of my training and things that have helped me in the pursuit of my many goals.


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